Here's How Far Airbnb Will Go To Ensure Customers Are Well Taken Care Of
Airbnb recently improved its customer service staff with a team of 50 investigative agents to look for guests who abuse their hosts' generosity. This move came after the company had enough of seeing its brand name associated with a small number of horror stories - where people's homes got trashed by unruly guests and whatnot.
"The initial Airbnb customer service operation was humble: one guy and his cell phone. The guy, in fact, was Joe Gebbia, one of the company’s founders. Whenever a customer had a problem, they’d call the customer service line, get patched through to Gebbia’s phone, and he’d work with them to fix the problem," said a company spokesperson.
So now, Airbnb enlisted hundreds of agents available via phone, chat and email, 24/7, in every time zone and in 30 different languages. According to Monroe Labouisse, director of customer service, "At Airbnb we aspire to provide highly personal service and to be very available. ... We want to give people peace of mind by being there for them when they need us. We want to be the front desk that travels with them."
Here are some of the examples of how far Airbnb would go to provide topnotch customer service:
1. When an Airbnb host cancelled the cottage Shay Fan had booked for her bridesmaids on the eve her wedding, Airbnb pitched in a $1,000 credit to help her find a new place to stay. Wedding rescued!
2. Adam Jackson discovered that one of his guests had stolen a pizzacutter from his kitchen. He tweeted about it and Airbnb sent a new one to him overnight with this cute apology note.
3. Jessica Dowdy tweeted that she had booked with Airbnb in Seattle to see a Pearl Jam gig, and the company sent her a T-shirt.
4. Maia Mittner tweeted that she wished she had a stroller for their upcoming guests, who had a young child. The Airbnb team had one express-delivered before the guests checked in the next day. Aww..
5. This user had to cancel a reservation because she needed to look after her sister, who broke her leg. So Airbnb sent the sister a bed tray and a get well card.
6. Kyle Matthews was going to Los Angeles to attend a fundraiser for a pediatric cancer charity. Airbnb picked it up — and made a donation to the cause.
7. Eric Mathiason passed a hosting milestone — so Airbnb sent him this "Legendary Host" trophy cup. "Classy and hilariously embarrassing!" Mathiason said.
8. Airbnb discovered that this host basked her guests fresh bread — so they sent her a bread recipe book.
9. Airbnb noticed that host Martina Bohn liked big fancy hats, so they sent her this hat-themed guest book.
10. Suring SXSW this year, Airbnb offered to deliver coffee to Airbnb residents who tweeted at them.
11. Airbnb noticed that comic book fan Sarah Forde was going to an anime convention — so they sent her a gift voucher for a local comics store.